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Plants Boeing

Detailed work on Boeing 777 illuminated
with Holophane Enclosed Prismpack V

Much precision work is involved in assembling Boeing's new 777 twinjet commercial aircraft. The plane is being constructed at the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Everett Division of The Boeing Company, in Everett, Washington, which is also the assembly site for the Boeing 747 and 767.

Design and construction of the 1,914,000-square-foot expansion of the main aircraft manufacturing and assembly building for the production of the 777 began in 1991. About 90 percent of the 174,150,000 cubic feet of space is devoted to manufacturing, with the remainder used for offices and manufacturing support.

Lighting for the facility is provided by Holophane Enclosed Prismpack® V luminaires with 1,000-watt metal halide lamps. According The Austin Company, Renton, Washington, which designed and built the facility, Boeing selected the Prismpack units based on past success with other Holophane fixtures.

The original 74 7 manufacturing facility at Boeing, built in 1968, is still lighted with the original Holophane prismatic glass luminaires installed at that time. Although the units have been upgraded to 1,000-watt metal halide from the less efficient mercury vapor, the glass reflector remain as efficient as when installed 26 years ago.

"Boeing recognized the quality of the Prismpack luminaires, plus the ease of maintenance," Austin stated.

Because aircraft are assembled directly beneath the lighting fixtures, if any tools are required for maintenance, Boeing must erect netting to prevent anything from falling on the planes. With the Prismpack units, netting was not necessary since all removable parts latch or snap together.

An added benefit is the optional quick disconnect feature that allows an individual luminaire to be disconnected and removed, and a new fixture installed on the disconnect hanger in minutes. This feature also facilitated installation since the hanger can be threaded onto the conduit and luminaires installed and energized at the same time. The fixtures also include a safety cable provision because the plant is located in a seismic area.

Ceiling height in the facility is 112 feet, with the Prismpack luminaires mounted on the roof trusses at 87 feet, spaced 25 feet on center. Holophane's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was used to determine fixture spacing. The facility has a 350-wide clear span.

"One of the challenges in lighting the plant was positioning the luminaires from the structural members of the bottom chord of the roof truss so the crane rails mounted below the truss would not block the light," Austin stated.

Footcandle levels are 80 to 90 maintained at the factory floor. Sidewall glare is minimized by the Prismpack fixtures' reflector/refractor optical train, which directs light away from the facility's centerline. In addition, the prismatic glass refractor provides maximum lamp shielding to eliminate direct glare.

"Because of the mounting height and spacing, light is coming from many different directions, which makes the facility bright and uniformly illuminated. This is essential because of the detailed work performed," Austin stated.

The Holophane fixtures are lighted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as manufacturing dictates.
They are controlled via relays through the Building Energy Management System which allows lighting levels of 1/3, 2/3 or all fixtures on. Fixtures will be serviced from the overhead bridge crane system.


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